Speaker Ken Schmidt Exclusive

Ken Schmidt

Customer Loyalty Expert, Legendary Former Director of Communications at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Author of 'Make Some Noise'

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
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  • Languages Spoken
    English
  • Travels From
    Washington DC, USA

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About Speaker Ken Schmidt…

One of the most in-demand and premium-fueled keynote speakers and communications consultants in America, Ken Schmidt has lived a life that most can only dream about. He has toured the world on two wheels, met with presidents and royalty, partied with movie and music legends, and appeared numerous times on network news. As the former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, he played an active role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history—and got paid to ride motorcycles.

Ken is widely known as one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders on customer loyalty and has partnered with many of the world’s most successful brands. He is the author of the 2018 book, Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance. Ken shares stories and insights on the road to building a fanatically vocal customer base, creating a passionately loyal corporate culture, and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.

Harley-Davidson. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s formal association with Harley-Davidson began in 1985. As a specialist in corporate positioning and media relations, Schmidt was asked to work with the then-struggling Harley-Davidson to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles. Within a few short years, Harley-Davidson became one of the most visible and frequently reported-on companies in the world, while sales of its motorcycles rocketed upward. Schmidt became director of Harley-Davidson’s corporate and financial communications and served as its primary spokesperson to the media and the financial communities. He appeared numerous times on network news programs and was frequently called upon by business media to share his insights on non-traditional communications, customer attraction, and brand-building.

Life After Harley. Now, Schmidt is a frequent speaker to business groups and academic communities throughout the world. Few speakers generate more positive word-of-mouth and referrals. “I love to startle people by exposing them to proven ideas and concepts they’ve never imagined,” he said. Whether he’s talking about how to leverage basic needs to improve competitiveness, build an entirely new corporate culture, or reach out to new customers in completely non-traditional ways, Schmidt never follows a predictable course. “Whether I’m talking about how perfectly average people can do extraordinary things or how to build an entirely new corporate culture, rekindle relationships with customers, or reach out to new ones in completely non-traditional ways, I’m teaching people to throw conventional approaches out the window. I see opening hearts and minds as my life’s work.”

Today, Schmidt shares his expertise with many of America’s leading brands but happily states that he is “semi-retired,” which allows him to pursue his other passions. He calls working with the grandson of one of Harley-Davidson’s founders to create 100 Years of Harley-Davidson, the best-selling motor sports book of all time, one of the greatest highs in his life. After all he has accomplished his philosophy of life and business hasn’t changed: “Never do what’s expected, make yourself as noticeably different as possible, and have a lot more fun than you’re supposed to.”

Testimonials 7

  • This is now the second time you made me look good! I knew this time to not let anyone speak after you. Avis car rental will never let me live it down that I scheduled them after you. You have the gift of educating while entertaining – no easy feat.

    Rachael Singer

    Director, Business Development, Signature Travel Network

  • Thank you so much for your note, and for your amazing presentations! We have heard nothing but stellar reviews from all of our team members, so you were quite the hit. We so appreciate that you came in ready, energized, and with new ideas.

     

    Sarah Richardson

    United Healthcare

  • A great time was had by all! It was so fun working with you! I especially appreciate working with a true professional who understands the need for advance preparation. It would shock you how many “professional” speakers show up 5 minutes before their presentation, toss their thumb drive to the technical crew, and then are shocked to realize they haven’t formatted their slides correctly and that they’re out of focus pictures look bad on a 20 ft. wide  screen.

    Sherry Johnson

    Producer, Merestone Productions

  • Talk about passion! The feedback we’ve received from everyone at conference regarding your keynote has been nothing but stellar. Thank you again for helping our conference be such a success!

    Devin Bevis

    Director, Franchise Services, Firstlight Home Care

  • Thank you for your energy, message and participation in our National Business meeting.  You set the tone for our meeting and delivered an outstanding call to action that resonated with the audience.  A lot of what you provided became part of our language and message as we went through the rest of the session. You were a pleasure to work with!

    Jeremy Keenan

    Director, Strategic Marketing, WestRock

  • Your presentation was a huge hit at the event, and the overwhelmingly positive comments focused on the relevance of your content, the energy/passion/humor of your delivery, and the overall fascinating story you deliver regarding one of the most famous companies of all time. Speaking confidently from my 15 years of experience working in the PTC Sales organization, this can be a tough crowd. And the timing of your delivery at end of our second day of General Session made me a bit nervous, but you carried the show and left the audience on a huge high mark. Thanks again so much for your work with us!

    Lisa Marie Casello

    Sales Enablement Director, PTC Sales and Distribution

  • Ken Schmidt was terrific and very appropriate for our Scouting donor base. They loved him yesterday.

    R. Scott Evans

    Boy Scouts of America, Lake Erie Council

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